The 41st Sourwood Festival returns Aug. 11-12

Fred McCormick
Black Mountain News

Roads will close and tents and vendor booths will start popping up at 5 p.m on Friday, Aug. 10 in Black Mountain as the setup for the 41st Sourwood Festival begins. 

The festival, which brings tens of thousands of visitors and hundreds of vendors downtown every year, opens officially at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 11. 

The festivities begin on Friday at 7 p.m. in the White Insurance tent on Sutton Avenue with the Sourwood Idol contest. The singing competition, which awards cash prizes to first, second and third place winners, will include a children's competition this year as well. 

A Ferris wheel, like the one ridden by Elena Jones and her daughters at the Sourwood Festival in 2016, will among the rides in the Fun Zone at the festival this year when it returns on Aug. 11 and 12.

"The first- and third-place prizes are sponsored by Black Mountain Savings Bank," said Glenda Morrow, the assistant director of the Black Mountain-Swannanoa Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the Sourwood Festival. "The second-place prize is sponsored by Black Mountain Alderman Larry Harris."

On Saturday morning over 200 vendors will open along Sutton, Black Mountain and Vance Avenues, as well as the SunTrust parking lot. Those attending the festival can find food, books, handmade crafts and even sourwood honey available in the booths. 

A fun zone, just south of railroad tracks, will feature carnival rides and other family-friendly activities. 

While the Sourwood Festival doesn't open until Saturday, Aug. 11, the festivities will begin with the Sourwood Idol competition at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 10.

The festival, which includes live music throughout, will run until 9 p.m. on Saturday and reopen at 9 a.m on Sunday, Aug. 12. It concludes at 5 p.m. on Sunday. 

Tens of thousands of people will walk along Sutton, Black Mountain and Vance Avenues on Aug. 11 and 12 during the 41st Sourwood Festival in downtown Black Mountain

A shuttle service will be available on Saturday, according to chamber of commerce executive director Bob McMurray. Parking will also be available in the former Bi-Lo parking lot and along Terry Estate Drive in an area featuring a blue public parking sign.